tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN August 8, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
that does it for us. thanks for watching. time for "cnn tonight" with don lemon. exactly three months until election day. did you know that? and a giant vote of no confidence. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. dozens of prominent republican national security experts signing a letter stating that trump lacks the temperament to be president and he would be the most reckless commander in chief in american history. trump firing back tonight calling them part of the failed washington elite who should be held accountable for making the world a dangerous place. and tonight, a top republican senator says she will not vote for donald trump. meanwhile, trump and hillary clinton slamming each other's economic position. >> all hillary clinton has to offer is more of the same. more taxes. more regulations. more bureaucrats. more restrictions on american energy. and on american production.
>> there is no other donald trump. what you see is what you get. he is still the same donald trump who makes his shirts and hi ties overseas instead of in the united states. >> there's a whole lot to get to tonight. we'll get to all of it. i want to begin, though, with senior white house correspondent mr. jim acosta, good evening to you, jim. >> hey, don. >> today was supposed to be a day where donald trump was getting back on message talking about the economy. more incoming fire from the republicans who think his foreign policy is dangerous. what more can you tell us? >> this is a day donald trump was supposed to make that pivot and get back to general election campaign issues like the economy. you know, he was interrupted 14 times at that economic speech today, don, and donald trump did not let loose and go after those protesters and then at 3:00 this afternoon, this bomb was dropped by 50-some-odd former national security officials, dating back to the nixon administration.
all working in republican administrations. former secretaries of homeland security, former director of the cia, former director of national intelligence, all saying donald trump is unfit to be president of the united states. donald trump fired back in his typical fashion and wrote those officials off as being holdovers from the bush administration who are simply just trying to line their pockets in d.c. and got the country in trouble in the first place by leading the nation in the war in iraq. trump campaign also put out a statement from lieutenant general michael flynn. one of their top national security officials with the campaign who is basically saying the same thing, but don, i think the biggest development of this day just happened within the last hour and that is the republican senator from maine, susan collins, announced in this op-ped in the woe"washington po that she cannot support donald trump. she laid out three different reasons going back to trump's apparent mocking of that disabled reporter, his criticism of the mexican/american judge
curiel and this recent confrontation with the khan family and the question becomes, don, just how much of this can donald trump take? it seems to be one republican after another coming out and saying he is not fit to be president of the united states. >> you wonder who else is going to come out. i mean, you know, jim, he did reveal his economic plan earlier it that's right. >> let's get to that. did he get specific about it? >> reporter: he did. there were more specifics in this speech than i think a lot of people realize which is why this has been such a difficult end of the day for donald trump. let's put some of this up on screen because what he laid out is, i think, a proposal, a plan that would be attract totive to lot of republicans out there. new tax brackets lower for all americans, moratorium on new regulation, a repeal of the estate tax, it doesn't happen, but they want it every four years. here's where donald trump disagrees with a lot of republicans. he wants to withdraw from the trans-pacific trade deal. he wants to crack down on china. a lot of americans think that
will start a trade war. donald trump also wants to restart the keystone oil pipeline process, get that going all over again. that is what is such a, you know, a big disappointment i think for the trump campaign today. they try to get back on track. they try to gain some traction with this economic plan and it just sort of got overwhelmed by this news of all of these republicans coming out and saying he's unfit to be president. >> let's talk about, you know, donald trump loved to, at least he did, talk about the polls. what are the late st polls showing? >> reporter: this monmouth university poll, don, i think is pretty striking. hillary clinton was leading by just a couple percentage points when this was taken about three weeks ago. now she's 13 points ahead of donald trump in the exact same poll. the breakout number, don, that is most striking to me only 27% of americans according to this poll believe that donald trump has the temperament to be president of the united states. the numbers are basically upsidedown for hillary clinton. it all goes back to this issue that was raised by ease national security officials earlier today and in part by susan collins
late this evening with this op-ped. does donald trump have the temperament to be president of the united states? this latest poll says no. these national security officials say no. susan collins is saying no. and the question becomes how does donald trump deal with this over these next few days? he has a whole slew of events down across the southeast, and we'll be listening to see if donald trump has anything to say about all of this. it is becoming sort of a snowball effect for his campaign and the question is, can he hold back the snowball? >> all right. well, we shall see without it melting. thank you, jim. i appreciate that. let's bring in now, i want to bring in roger, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense who is a visiting fellow at the american enterprise institute and also his father who is a former undersecretary of defense who is a senior adviser at the center for strategic and international studies. gentlemen, i'm glad to have you here this evening. thank you for joining us. roger, going to start with you. father and son, you both say alodge wia lod long with 48 other experts that donald trump is not qualified to
be the commander in chief. who came to this conclusion first, you or your father? >> the wisdom comes from the old man. i actually can't recall who came up with it first, but it seemed that we arrived the same conclusion early on in this race. >> so how did you do that? before you answer that, let me put this up, because this is what -- here's what you guys say about trump. you said "he is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood. he does not encourage conflicting views. he can't tolerate personal criticism. he alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior. all of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be president and commander in chief. with command of the u.s. nuclear arsenal." >> how did you come up with it?
>> to me, my biggest concern was judgment and character, that's the one that stands out most above any other policy. >> doug? >> i think that's absolutely right. the problem is that his behavior essentially encompasses all these subject matter and all the substantive issues. the real problem is look at the way he behaved today. look at his reaction. he blamed republicans for benghazi, for god's sake. by the way, he didn't mention russia at all. that's a giveaway, too. he blamed republicans for isis. he doesn't have any kind of self-control. i work very, very closely with george w. bush both before he was president, when he was running for president, and when he was president. what a contrast. and it just seems to me that a man who cannot control himself cannot possibly control policy in any kind of rational way and
that goes to every specific item whether it's nato, whether it's the korea and japan, whether it's china. the fundamental problem isn't the policy. the fundamental problem is the person. >> so, dov, it's not his knowledge or lack of knowledge about foreign affairs or about any other foreign policy. it's his temperament, it's his behavior. you think he's erratic. is that what you're saying? >> yes, he's erratic. he overreacts. and that's compounded, of course, by his utter ignorance. the man seems to have had no idea that russia invaded ukraine. that's remarkable. so it's not -- he doesn't seem to be interested in detail. he doesn't seem to want to learn. he doesn't seem to want to listen. and on top of it, you've got the character problem. it all meshes together in a frightening mix. >> so, roger, let me ask you this because you guys aren't
alo alone. just tonight susan collins of maine, has an op-ped in the "washington post" and she says trump lacks a temperament. she says trump's lack of discipline and judgment required to be president. another prominent republican deflection here. the question is why so many now, you think, and not earlier in the campaign or even before the convention? >> well, i think donald trump continues to raise the bar in exceeding our lowest expectations for him. he's done a whole lot along the way. i think taking on a gold-star father and gold-star mother probably was the low water mark of his campaign. particularly for those who focus on service, who focus on the men and women in uniform, who focus on national security. this is not the way a commander in chief is able or should act. >> i want to ask both of you this. i guess roger, since you're talking, i'm going to read this. this is how his campaign reacted in a letter today. it says "the names on this letter are the ones the american people should look to for the answers on why the world is a mess. we thank them for coming forward
so everyone in the country knows who deserves the blame for making the world such a dangerous place. they are nothing more than the failed washington elite looking to hold onto their power and it's time they are held accountable for their actions." roger, you say trump is dangerous. trump says it's you guys who made the world a dangerous place. he points to the invasion of iraq, as an example. what's your reaction? >> well, i say it's typical trump. as for me, i served at the tail end of the bush administration. i spent the past eight years or so cutting my teeth in the u.s. congress, countering president obama's national security policy. as far as i'm concerned, the state of the u.s. national security today and the challenge we face are a function of the current occupant of the presidency. it has nothing to do with the gentleman who signed on on this letter. so, once again, i think trump is wrong with the facts. overreacts. and actually misleads here. >> yeah. same question, but i'll ask you, let me just add this, too, because a lot of people, dov, who sign this letter work for the bush administration.
you heard your son say he worked for the end of the bush administration. trump supporters say this is just sour grapes from the career establishment republicans. what's your reaction? >> no, it's not at all. i mean, i worked at the beginning of the bush administration. i came in with governor bush who became president bush. and the fact of the matter is that when we left iraq, for example, there was no isis. we had troops there. the place was quieter than it had been for years. we had actually won that war. and so the argument that we left the place a mess, as if the last eight years didn't exist, is just mind-boggling, but it's a reflection of trump's ignorance, his overreactions. i mean, let's face it, do you honestly think that the signers of this letter would be serving in a hillary clinton administration? last time i checked, they were all republicans. so it's not sour grapes at all. it's fear for the country. we fear for this country if that
man gets into the white house. it's as simple as that. >> so if it came down to her or him, if you had to make a decision, could you make one? >> well, right now, i'm not committing to secretary clinton at all. frankly, a lot of her policies are not my policies, not what i advocate. it's a very, very difficult situation for somebody like myself. i know i'll vote all the way down the ticket for republicans. what i'll do at the top of the ticket, i honestly don't know, but i cannot vote for mr. trump. that i can guarantee. >> roger, same question for you. >> i won't vote for donald trump and i won't vote for hillary clint clinton. to me, it's a choice between bad and worse. i'm not forced to make either of those choices. august now, we have until november. i'm hopeful we'll have another choice in the weeks or months ahead. >> thank you, roger, thank you, dov. i appreciate it. >> thank you. joining me now, a former trump campaign manager, corey
lewandowski who's still receiving severance from the trump campaign and is a cnn political commentator. thank you very much for joining us. you heard their reaction. what's your response? >> look, here's what i think. i think you have individuals who have never taken the time or the effort to sit down and listen to mr. trump or learn more about his policy positions. because if you look at the individuals on his foreign policy team who he has sat with, whether its admiral, general flynn, whether it's jeff sessions, they're all unified in their support for donald trump and understand he will be the best commander in chief, the best president of the decision we have in front of us. those are the individuals, general flynn was head of the dia. lieutenant general. look at the admiral who served our nation for 32 years honorably. they understand because they've sat with donald trump. they had the opportunity to talk to him and you don't see any of those people. the people he sits with and understands what he's doing are absolutely in favor. these people have never met him. they have a media perception which is not reality. >> i want to talk to you about the 50 people.
these are 50 people. these aren't, you know, just people who, you know, johnny come lately to the game. these are very established and very well respected people. but they point specifically to -- they don't think he has knowledge of foreign affairs at all. specifically to his behavior, that he's erratic, that he can't control himself. that has nothing to do with the people you just named who are advisers. this is him personally. what's your response to that? >> if you look at some of the people who signed this letter, they've been very public. they were supporting other candidates. most of them were supporting jeb bush originally in this process then after jeb bush was destroyed, they went to marco rubio enthand then john kasich. right down the line anything they can do to make sure they stay in power. they will not be part of the trump administration. that scares them. they want to maintain their hold in washington, d.c. many of the people, you've heard d dov talk about this, was there and was a decision maker to get us into the iraq war. we spent $6 trillion. that was under the bush
administration. i think what the campaign would say is that was a mistake going into it. it's a mistake staying there. we've lost thousands of lives and $6 trillion for what is the question. >> no one who holds public office is perfect, no one who holds prominent positions as experts in foreign affairs, as security or defense experts, no one is perfect. a lot of these people help to keep us safe before 9/121 and after 9/11. you go on and on and on, william taft, former deputy secretary of defense and ambassador to nato. none of the secretaries of state of republican administrations for the past administrations, henry kissinger, george schultz, james baker, colin powell, condoleezza rice, neither have endorsed his candidacy as well. again, this doesn't concern you when you have so many prominent
well-respected people coming out saying this guy is not fit, there is no credence to anything that they're saying? >> what concerns me is the fact that -- >> there's no credence to anything? >> here's what concerns me about these people. if they choose not to endorse donald trump, that's implicit endorsement of hillary clinton. whether it's legal or not of the benghazi disaster. two faems amilies are suing hil clinton because there are loved ones were killed in benghazi. if you don't want to support donald trump, that's okay, that's your prerogative. the end of the day, if you don't spirit hi support him, you are hillary clinton. i do question -- >> there's no credence to anything that they say, they're wrong? >> i question their motives. i question their motives. i question their motives. do they want to maintain power? many of those people including governor rich and others have supported, publicly supported other candidates in this race and when they lost, they are now looking for another way to stay in relevancy. that's not just happening in a trump administration. >> all right. corey is going to stick with me. thank you, corey.
corey will stay around. does this letter by the national security experts actually help trump with his campaign theme? is he a true washington outsider? we're going to talk about that next. this car is traveling over 200 miles per hour. to win, every millisecond matters. both on the track and thousands of miles away. with the help of at&t, red bull racing can share critical information about every inch of the car from virtually anywhere. brakes are getting warm. confirmed, daniel you need to cool your brakes. understood, brake bias back 2 clicks. giving them the agility to have speed & precision. because no one knows & like at&t.
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breaking news tonight. hillary clinton's campaign saying tonight she is accepting the invitation to the three upcoming presidential debates scheduled by the independent debate commission also saying it expects donald trump to do the same. back with me now, corey lewandowski. also joining us bakari sellers, clinton supporter, maria cardona who also supports clinton and matt lewis, senior contributor to the "daily caller." all right, here we two. now we have a panel. let's discuss this. think we have enough to discuss tonight? >> i think so. >> matt, i'm going to start with you because you haven't been the biggest trump supporter safe to say. even you like this economic speech today and then bam, this letter comes out and it's another conversation entirely. is this how it's going to be from now until november you think? >> yeah, i think it will, but, you know, look, obviously the letter isn't great news for them. i think today was a pretty good day for donald trump. he gave this economics speech. about half of it i would say is sort of orthodox reagan era
republican tax cuts. the other half i would say is populist, protectionist, anti-globalist trade politics which i think plays well with a lot of working class americans out there. but the most important thing he did was stay on script. he actually read from the teleprompter an didn't take the bait when the protesters tried to get him off message. and i think that's the key. if he could do this for the next tl three months, i think he has a shot at winning. >> when costa mentioned he did not let the protesters bait him, i saw corey lewandowski smiling like, great, finally, he didn't do it. corey, i've got to ask you this question, matt is saying he had a good day today. this didn't make it any better i would say because susan collins, one of the first gop senators to come out said she's not going to vote for trump. mocking a reporter with disabilities, attacking judge
curiel for his mexican heritage and disparaging a gold-star family. can you understand why that disqualifies him in her eyes and frankly many others? >> i think first and foremost what you have to remember is that susan collins represents a state which is probably not going to be supporting a republican presidential nominee anyway in the state of maine. they have in the supported a republican presidential candidate up there in at least 20 years. this isn't actually something she's very concerned about. if you look at states like new hampshire where kelly ayotte is in a much more competitive state, that would be much more concerning to me candidly. if you look at states where donald trump is much more competitive in states like virginia and florida and places like that, i think i would be much more concerned, i would be much more concerned if i was the campaign if i saw u.s. senators in battleground states that are competing heavily and walking away from my campaign. sue collins is not one right now -- >> jeff flake. >> jeff flake hasn't walked away. he's talked about some things. >> he's concerned. >> he hasn't walked away from the campaign to be fair. sue collins is not someone -- >> that does play into the issue with women and now a problem with another conservative woman. >> yes. and i think that is the point and that's where the trump
campaign really needs to be concerned. right now, trump is losing college educated white women. mitt romney won college educated white women by 14 points and he still lost the election. so if you take college educated white women off the table, you take african-americans off the table, take latinos off the table, you take young people off the table, you are looking at a nonexistent pathway to 270 electoral votes for donald trump. >> mitt romney did not win african-americans, let's be very clear about that. he got less than 5% of the african-american vote. >> to also be very clear in a four-way race, donald trump is polling less than both the green party candidate and gary johnson. that's pretty troublesome if you're a republican. >> i don't think it's fair to say you're comparing the african-american vote that mitt romney received to what donald trump may receive. >> are you saying donald trump is not going to win? because you need minority votes. >> what i'm saying, you cannot compare what mitt romney received for the african-american vote, to what donald trump is going to get. if you look at the polls in south carolina, that poll, african-americans, donald trump
is winning. >> wasn't me polling at zero? >> doesn't that make the point, if you need that demographic to wane you're losing them so badly, he's not helping -- >> he's winning much better than mitt romney won them, that's what i'm saying. >> that's not the -- >> if you look at the working class white male, donald trump is overly winning that compared to -- >> no question. there aren't enough of them. >> i think that -- i think that what corey is outlining is very true and what the campaign focused on in the primary. it's not how you win a general election anymore. barack obama's america, 2008 and forward, the way you get to the obama coalition is not through white men. with all due respect, corey, there are simply not enough of you all to elect donald trump president of the united states. you have to build a coalition, college educated white women, hispanics, especially hispanics and donald trump is coming up short in arizona, colorado, nevada, and florida. >> people like jeff flake really concerned because arizona who traditionally goes republican, he's saying this could be a
completely different ball game because of the hispanic community over there. and they are registering -- not just registering at historic levels, immigrants who never thought twice about becoming citizens are now becoming citizens at a high rate because they want to vote against donald trump. >> matt is here. >> matt's here. >> matt, do you want in? >> look, here's the deal. donald trump comes out of the convention down double digits. had a horrible last several weeks. but the fact remains seven out of ten americans are unhappy with the direction of this country. the fact remains hillary clinton is a very unlikable, bad candidate. and, you know, i -- donald trump is a change agent. hillary clinton is the status quo. and for those reasons, donald trump could still win this race. but what he has to do is be disciplined. he can't attack, you know, gold-star families, let's say, going forward. he has to do what he did today. if he can do what he did today, read that teleprompter, stay on
message, he still has a shot -- >> okay. >> -- because of that environment. >> let's talk about staying on message because donald trump tweeted this out, tweeted this out tonight, many people are saying the iranians killed a scientist who helped the u.s. because of hillary clinton's hacked e-mail." first thing, corey, this is wrong. e-mails discussing this case were both in a batch turned over by the state department as part of the investigation, not as hacking. secondly, our very own colleague, josh rogen, a cnn contributor, who is very familiar with both the content of the e-mails in the case of this iranian scientist wrote this in the "washington post," "there is no reasonable connection between the discussion of a case on e-mail by clinton staff to amiri's eventual execution, there's no evidence her server was hacked. they knew about amiri long before the e-mails were released publicly. his fate was sealed long before his sentence was carried out." you have national security experts talking about that he's
referring to that he's reckless, right? you have matt saying he needs to stay on message and not appear reckless yet he tweets this out. isn't this an example of what he should not be doing? >> what you have, it's a narrative the media wants to perpetuate which is he had a good day today making a speech -- >> wait, wait, hold on, this isn't about the media. when he tweets something out that's patently false about blaming hillary clinton for someone's death -- >> look, if this is what he's hearing -- this is what he's reporting -- >> it's going to be a bigger -- >> whoa, whoa, shouldn't the truth matter and not just -- >> hold on, is everything on twitter the truth? is the that what we're seeing? >> he's running for president of the united states. he shouldn't be a twitter troll. >> he tweeted out hillary clinton promised jobs to the state of new york which never came to fruition. no one is talking about that. >> at least that had some, like, research. i'm trying to help you out -- >> based on an article, actually. >> i think what corey and donald trump have been doing in that campaign up until this point is actually somewhat genius because what they do is --
>> i agree with him. >> -- they throw out these falsehoods, right, and live in world that's fact free. it's the media's job, our job to come up and untangle those and it's very hard to persuade somebody what they feel to be fact to be untrue. now, is it highly irresponsible? yes. donald trump's not trying to be responsible. >> we're going to talk about that in the broadcast. the adage if you say something enough, if you repeat lie enough, people believe it. actually if you put a fact check in there, many times it reinforces the lie and people still believe the lie is true. >> especially for his supporters. here's what i think is happening. that worked beautifully for the republican primary. >> correct. >> the fact of the matter is it's a very different electorate. people are skeptical, thank goodness. donald trump actually believes that american voters are em embeciles. judge judy says, don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. right now trump supporters are drenched -- >> she's talking to you, corey. i got to get to a break.
>> i promise not to do that. >> i got to get to a break. everyone stay with me. up next, trump campaign's safe space memo. which group of voters is the campaign trying to reach? sorias. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara® tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms such as: fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. always tell your doctor if you have any signs of infection, have had cancer, if you develop any new skin growths or if anyone in your house needs or has recently received a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions can occur. do not take stelara® if you are allergic to stelara® or any of its ingredients. most people using stelara® saw 75% clearer skin
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election day only three months away. hillary clinton's campaign saying that she is accepting the invitation to three swrupcoming presidential debates. back with me, corey lewandowski, bakari sellers, marie you cardona and matt lewis. this is a memo from the trump campaign dated january 14th 20r216, released over the weekend and says in part, it says "in the media and in certain social circles, our low ip supporters have been called stupid, racists and bigots. the elites look down on them. that's why the engagement scripts for low-p must all open with a warm and friendly disclosure. i'm a volunteer for mr. trump's campaign for president. this lets them know they're in a safe space. then we follow with encouraging invitati invitation, we'd like you to join us to help america -- help us make america great again. can we count on your vote in the
upcoming primary?" low-p is low participation, right, people who are unlikely to vote, they don't usually participate in the political process. you were in the trump campaign during the primary. your name is on this memo. describe what is behind this. what exactly, who exactly was the campaign targeting? >> what you have is an internal document which talks about the people who have not traditionally participated in the republican primary process. low propensity voters. those vote who have might have voted in one or two primaries, two of four primaries. traditionally what the methodology would be, you go after the voters you're very sure are going to go out and turn out on election day. the model for the trump campaign was a little different because we believe there was a disenfranchised group of people who are unhappy with the way washington is. we're not happy with the choice of the republican nominees that were put towaforward and we tho the people who had been disenfranchised or not
participated in the election process over a series of primaries in the past would be good targets to make sure donald trump was running and would be changing the system. that's the purpose of that. >> let's talk about this memo, matt. it says trump volunteers need to create a safe space for people who had previously been called stupid, racist, bigots. the criticism is this is dog whistle politics. do you think it is? >> in some cases. first, strategically, i think corey -- this is a very smart idea because you have 16 other republican candidates who were going after very likely voters. trump basically had these low propensity voters to himself. very shrewd and counterintuitive. who are these people, right? i would say that a lot of them are just good god feari ining s of the earth working class white americans who feel that the american dream has passed them by. they're never going to vote for a guy like mitt romney who just sort of screams rich elitist. i think some of them are, you know, very good people who just frankly have been left behind by
the system. but there's no doubt that some of them, we've talked about this on this show, don, that the right folks, that some of these people actually are racist and some of them are hearing dog whistles of unseemly things that i don't think have any place in american politics. >> go. >> i actually don't think this was a dog whistle because this was not a public document. and to matt's point, i agree, i actually think it's very smart for you to be able to talk to your voters like that. here's the problem. because a lot of these voters, and i agree that not all of them are racists or bigots by any means but then you have the people that matt mentioned and an article in the "washington post" that talks about a nazi leader that talks about a white supremacist leader and david duke of the kkk talking about how great trump is for their -- wanting to mainstream the pro-white mooucvement. that, i think, is what really gives rise to this notion that
the trump campaign is using dog whistle politics for all of those people who are racist and are bigots and are nowlenow comf the woodwork by saying trump is your candidate, you can be safe with donald trump. that i think should be a concern for the trump campaign. >> we looked at individuals who had voted in one of four primaries and said let's go after those individuals. this is the opposite of the bradley effect which as you remember, when he was running, many people said i'm going to be supporting bradley for the mayor of san francisco, i believe it was, his poll numbers were actually artificial because people wanted to be part of that. what we saw with the trump campaign was many people didn't want to admit publicly when it came to polls that they were supporting the trump campaign even though they were. what you saw on primaries after primaries, caucus after caucus, donald trump outperformed what the polling expectations were. people for whatever reason had not wanted to tell the public pollsters they're going to be supporting donald trump. our goal, our target, was to look at individuals who had been
disenfranchised. >> actually this analysis by the 530 blog found that actually trump voters in the primary were a share of regular republican electorates. it wasn't even clear that the strategy even -- that strategy even worked. >> you know why it worked? we won 14 million votes and donald trump is the nominee today -- >> that's a whole other show for people not wanting to admit they support donald trump, i don't understand why. i'll give you the last word. >> i said this before, it bears repeating again, donald trump is not a racist by any stretch. donald trump utilized tactics such as racism. he played on the way that people normally talk around their kitchen table. whether or not it's the way he talks about voters of color or whether or not he was talking with jake tapper. he refused to disapow david duke because he didn't know who he was. it also puts you at a disadvantage going into a general election. coming up, donald trump calls himself a successful businessman but what does his business record say about him? we'll be right back. new friends here. use for my
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and bob is editor and chief of "the hill." between 1985 and 1991, you covered trump for the daily news and for the "wall street journal." you recently recall those experiences in "the new york times" article, it's called "trump the bad, bad businessman." and one thing you talked about was the trump myth. can you elaborate on that? >> i think during the period i covered trump which was really his rise and fall, from the business perspective, he was very similar as he is today. he was the best salesman i think the world may have ever known. today he convinced the voters he might be a good president. then he convinced bankers, bondholders, stockholders he was a great businessman and eventually lent him billions of dollars and almost invariably lived to regret it. >> you think he was a better seller than he was a businessman? >> 100%. casinos didn't operate any better than anybody else's. his buildings didn't operate better than anybody else's. he was able to convince the
financial community for a long period of time by putting the trump name on a building, it had more value, yet in 1990, '91 when the economy tightened, he had $800 million in personally guaranteed loans, the banks took a bath, trump lost properties and did a piece in "the new york times" this weekend about this. i've heard from so many bankers from that period who i knew 20, 25 years ago who share my in injaulity after what he put them through. >> your term, pretending to be a better businessman than he actually is. >> well, i wouldn't -- i think he did what businesspeople do. he projected an image. it was the banks foolish enough to lend him the money. i don't put it all on donald. >> you said you noticed two things about him. real estate successes were small compared to more successful developers who got less publicity and lied a lot you said. >> why does he get more
publicity now? he is a charismatic figure. he's not shy. he would return your call. he would -- he would be buddy buddy with people. he would -- he had a fair amount of fame very early in his life. so i don't really -- he made great copy. and he put his name on every building he could. so he created a per spepception early after he built one, two buildings in new york. a city of hundreds of hundreds of buildings. fat he was a mega developer. in this case, the muse iic stop in '90s, 91s is and many people had to pay. >> people have pointed out some of the things neil has been pointing out yet trump is a successful businessman by the public. why is it all steak i should say and really no sizzle here? >> definitely there have been those stories out there. i agree with neil.
listen, donald trump is a great marketer. that's part of being a businessman. overall, he does have buildings that have his name on it and politics is a lot about perception and, yes, he's not paid people. he's paid them laid. he's had bankruptcies. but overall, the perception of donald trump, and he's gone a long way in making that percepti perception, is that he is a very rich guy and we don't know exactly how rich he is, but he's very rich and that's the whole basically tenet of his campaign is that he can run a business and he can run the country better than politicians are running it. so there have been doubts but i don't think it's a very effective strategy for the clinton campaign to repeatedly go after his business record like the obama campaign went after mitt romney's because trump is basically, he boasts about it. mitt romney almost didn't want to talk about his wealth. and i think it's very transparent and open even though he hasn't released his tax returns. but that trump basically boasts
about how wealthy he is. >> why are you shaking your head? >> we elect presidents hopefully based on their track record whether in politics, the military or in trump's case his business record. the very premise of trump running in the first place is he was a multibillionaire. cousin of mine who's going to vote for trump said everything he touches turns to gold. so this perception i do think is critical to the narrative of donald trump. >> when you were shaking your head, were you saying you don't believe he's as rich as he says he is? >> definitely not as rich as he says he is. there's not a human alive who -- i don't know, if i saw his taxes, if i saw his balance sheet, if i saw his financial statements, if i saw what i could see with mitt romney or hillary clinton or any candidate, i don't know. >> a sound bite from donald trump in new york today discussing his economic plan. first he's quoting a february 2016 "new york post" article praising him for what he did for new york city. listen. >> this is a direct quote, basically donald trump waded
into a landscape of empty 5th avenue -- the dust ball mugging ground that was central park, so dangerous. almost by sheer force of will, he rode to the rescue. expressing rare faith in the future, he was instrumental in kick starting the regeneration of neighborhoods. >> so, neil, there were many prominent developers in new york in the 1980s alongside trump. did he rescue new york city? >> he absolutely didn't rescue new york city. i would say he was one of the early builders of new york in the late '70s when it came out. trump is not completely rebe ll of a track record. one word i would use a exaggeration and hyperbole, and that characterizes everything about him and that's part of his narrative and myth. >> neil, bob, thank you very much. coming up, there are attacks on policy and attacks on experience but are donald trump and hillary clinton actually
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>> reporter: we're no longer just hearing from the candidates. now we're getting inside their heads. let me out of here. donald trump has had the lion's share of armchair analysis. >> a screw loose. >> everybody was asking me about his mental health. >> it's easy to behave that way when you're mentally ill. >> reporter: even the conservative "weekly standard" piled on. donald trump is not of sound mind. that sounded worse than the phrasing hillary clinton uses. >> temperamentally unfit. >> reporter: that probably triggered trump's temper. and now he's analyzing hillary. >> unstable. she's unbalanced. >> reporter: this was the donald's preliminary diagnosis of hillary. >> she's really pretty close to unhinged. >> reporter: but by the very next day, he apparently thought her condition had worsened. >> she is a totally unhinged person. >> reporter: one host listed the diagnostic criteria for
narcissistic personality disorder. >> requiring constant admiration. >> reporter: and found trump met all 12. tweeted the former dean of harvard medical school, "trump doesn't just have it, he defines it." donald, himself, was less specific about hillary's symptoms. >> honestly i don't think she's all there. >> reporter: michael bloomberg threw trump over for hillary. >> let's elect a sane, competent person. >> reporter: dr. drew declared trump -- >> not insane. >> reporter: called him -- >> damaged sociopathic narcissist. >> is that unfair to call someone who's nominee of the republican party a sociopath? >> yes, it is unfair. >> reporter: clinical psychologist dr. simon said this to "vanity fair" about trump and narcissism, "he's so classic i'm archiving videos of him to use in workshops because there's no better example." here's another one for your file, doctor. >> all my life i've been told i
have a great temperament. >> reporter: cnn. >> totally unhinged. >> reporter: jeanne moos, new york. donald trump delivers a major address on the economy. we have a reality check of some of the points he made. we'll be right back. han a third of energy-related carbon emissions. the challenge is to capture the emissions before they're released into the atmosphere. exxonmobil is a leader in carbon capture. our team is working to make this technology better, more affordable so it can reduce emissions around the world. that's what we're working on right now. ♪ energy lives here.
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not vote for donald trump in november. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. trump, meanwhile, seeking to get his campaign back on track delivering a major economic address. speaking at the prominent detroit economic club, calling his proposals a way to renew america's economy. his plans would reduce tax rates, simplify the tax code and put a moratorium on government regulation. >> i want to jump-start america and it can be done. and it won't even be that hard. >> trump made some points about the current state of the economy. cnn's tom foreman has a reality check now. tom? >> reporter: hey don. donald trump attacked the obama administration on a subject that hits very close to home. >> home ownership is at its lowest rate in 51 years. >> reporter: the latest measurement we have on that from the census bureau says 62.9%